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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson reports on 9.26.2019
Enjoy these last days of summer for the weather is about to take a turn, at least temporarily. Expect some precipitation, wind, and temperatures dipping into the teens this weekend. Make sure you bring extra clothing, a Jet Boil to make some hot beverages, or a bottle of Schnapps. 

East Walker 

The East Walker is cruising along at 224 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on! There are a potpourri of bugs cruising around but they seem to prefer small mayflies. The river fishes really well at these current flows.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 74 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin River

The road is open and the flows are 17. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon. You still need to pay an entrance fee for access. I fished down there a couple of weeks ago and the river is really “boney” with crystal clear water. There are lots of nice little browns and rainbows if you scout around. 


Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 54 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. There are some nice fish lying in ambush for hoppers falling into the creek. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a hopper above and midges or caddis below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 111 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 170 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with hoppers and Chernobyl ants. The grasshopper infestation is still happening but as the mornings temps are in the 30’s, I cannot imagine the hoppers to be around much longer.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing a flushing / scouring purge of the Gorge and the lower river, mandated by Fish and Wildlife. The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to almost 700 cfs. I would avoid these sections of the river until normal flows are reestablished. These high flows will be good for the health of the river down the line as it cleans out years of sediment and debris.

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